Parish : St Clement
Inscription : Captain A.R. CHAPMAN Royal Artillery 16th September 1940 age 53 Rest in Peace for ever in the memory of his wife and sons
Monument : Commonwealth War Grave Commission Headstone
Above information from Cambridge Family History Society Survey
Lat Lon : 52.202644, 0.138454 – click here for location
This Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone, in the parish area of St Clement, is located to the west of the east path, close to the path that leads to the centre circle.
16th SEPTEMBER 1940 AGE 53
REST IN PEACE
FOR EVER IN THE MEMORY
OF HIS WIFE AND SONS
Arthur Reginald Chapman (14 November 1887 – 16 September 1940)
Arthur was the the eldest son of Arthur and Susan (née Preston) Chapman and grew up at 10 Abbey Road (1891) and Buccleuch House, 63 Glisson Road (1901), Arthur (Snr) worked at Pembroke college as a college servant (1891), college butler (1901) and then as manager of the kitchen and butteries (1911). Arthur trained as a cook/chef and married Blanche Isobel Taylor (1880-1971) on 19 July 1909 at St. Andrew the Great Church. At the time of the marriage he was living in Bristol and the wedding was reported in great detail by the Cambridge Independent Press: ‘the bride who was given away by her father, was charmingly attired in a gown of cream satin messaline, trimmed with Bruges lace, forming a panel down the front, the yoke being made of tucked chiffon and trimmed with orange blossom. She carried a show bouquet of white heather, lilies of the valley and carnations’. The reception took place at the Masonic Hall, where before a ‘large number of guests, the Mayor proposed the health of the bride and groom’, after which the newly weds left for a honeymoon in Cornwall. The present list was reported in minute detail. Arthur gave Blanche a ruby and diamond brooch, she gave him a travelling bag. Colleagues from Arthur’s workplace in Bristol sent a drawing room chair and crumb brush and tray’. At the end of the long list of presents the newspaper reported ‘In addition to these there were presentations of a handsome case of fish knives and forks from the literary and commercial staffs of the Cambridge Daily News and a case of carvers from the kitchen and buttery staff at Pembroke College’.
In 1911 Arthur and Blanche were settled at 54 Eltisley Avenue, Newnham and he was working as a pastry cook at Trinity College. They are believed to have had at least three sons: Reginald Gordon (1910-), Percy (1911-1989) and Donald Ivor (1915-1998). He and Blanche later moved to live at 11 Howden Road, South Norwood and it is known he served as a Captain (number 101508) with the 118 Light Anti-Arcraft Battery (L.A.A.), Royal Artillery (Parish records document that he was of 117 L.A.A Royal Artillery, Steeple Morden).
In 1939 Arthur and Blanche were living at 174 Huntingdon road with Blanche’s sister Gertrude. He died at Addenbrooke’s Hospital as a result of a car accident. It was reported motorists were ‘ordered to put out their lights by road guards during an air raid warning, two motorists collided in Cambridgeshire, and Capt. Arthur Reginald Chapman, one of them, was killed. At the inquest….it was stated that the R.A.F. and Home guard denied that any order was given to put out side-lights and the police were instructed by the Coroner to make inquiries as to who did give the order’. Arthur was buried at Mill Road Cemetery on 20 December. His widow died in Bournemouth aged 90 years old.
CFHS St Clement Burial Record transcript
by Ian Bent with additional information by Claire Martinsen